InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is to introduce its luxury boutique brand Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants into the UK following the acquisition of the 12-strong Principal hotel group by French company Fonciere des Regions from the US-based Starwood Capital Group.
The deal will see IHG rebrand and operate the hotels with 2,200 bedrooms and one pipeline hotel with 185 rooms.
It will establish IHG as the leading luxury hotel operator in the UK, expanding the presence for the InterContinental brand and adding multiple Kimpton hotels in major city centres, such as London, Manchester and Edinburgh.
This marks an important step in IHG's plans to take the brand global, building on the first signings for Asia and China last year, and will act as a catalyst for Kimpton's growth in Europe.
This agreement will also strengthen IHG's position in the upscale segment in the UK, and will establish a presence for its upscale brand, which will be launched later this year.
These hotels will provide high-quality representation for the brand in IHG's largest market within the Europe, Middle East, Asia & Africa region, where it will initially be launched.
Keith Barr, chief executive officer of IHG said: "We are focused on continuing to expand our leadership in luxury and upscale, which are both high-value segments with significant growth potential.
"Bringing Kimpton to such an important market as the UK is a key part of our plans, as is the introduction of our new upscale brand, which will provide an exciting, differentiated offering to both guests and owners.
"Together with the recent addition of Regent Hotels & Resorts to our portfolio, we are building real momentum behind our plans to deliver industry-leading net rooms growth."